My name is Kris Hopkins and I live in Seattle, Wa. I was diagnosed with AS only a few years ago with a positive HLA-B27 marker, I am 32 years old. My life has been a series of odd events that seemed to lead into a weird game of chutes-and-ladders, medically speaking. I remember my first back pain around the age of 18. I felt a sharp, burning pain in my back that radiated into my legs. I thought maybe I slept funny, pulled it somehow, or maybe that it was a sciatic problem. This was on and off for several years. Then in, I think it was, 2011 I got home one day to put on my pjs and I noticed red splotches all over my legs and immediately they started to swell. My ankles became the size of my thighs and blood started pooling under my skin. My arms and hands followed soon after and I thought for sure I was going to die. I could not walk for 3 months. I got myself around in the apt by sitting on a skateboard. Many steroids and pain killers later I was able to walk again. This was something called leukocytoclastic vasculitis. I assume now that it was just another form of an inflammatory problem, and am nervous it will return someday.
But back to the AS, I see my rheumatologist often and she is great. I am currently trying Humira, prednisone, and spinal flexibility exercises. They symptoms I have are: back spasms daily, trouble sleeping, pain is a constant, limited mobility due to SI joint fusion and just started having what feels like atrophy in my arms.
I have (and have had) wonderfully supportive people in my life and am convinced I would not be here without them. I mean that, the people in my life are so important and so very kind.
I am married, have several fulfilling jobs, kitties, and live in the city I love.
I want to thank everyone for their participation in this wonderful site, your stories have moved me.
When I think about AS I have this quote that comes to mind: